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LGBTQ+ community attacked again by Trump administration

President Trump is known to be “eccentric” when it comes to issues regarding the LGBTQ+ community, so it is not surprising that his administration is banning transgender individuals from joining the military. This ranges from the Air Force, to the Coast Guard and ROTC programs at some universities. As predicted, the LGBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders group is fighting back to oppose this ban.

Because this issue is in regards to the LGBTQ+ community, there are a lot of mixed opinions about whether or not transgender individuals should be included in the discussion. In order to avoid bias, a number of students that are not part of the LGBTQ+ community were interviewed. One of these students shared their opinion on this issue.

Atifah Khan, a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering, voiced her opinion, mentioning that “the policy to ban transgender individuals from the military, as proposed by the Trump administration, is one of the most ill-thought out and spitefully discriminatory executive orders to date.” Students should start to be aware of how this ban could be potentially hazardous to students who want to join ROTC, but cannot.

Khan continued, stating that “students will probably start to think that being transgender is a defect or a problem, and look down on people who are transgender.” According to Khan, this could also result in transgender people feeling as if they “aren’t worthy to serve the country they live in.” These feelings of being unworthy have the potential to lead to feelings of depression.

However, some people believe that the ban of transgender people from the military is the right way to go. One such student is Alexis Bannerman, a freshman undecided major. “Transgender people will not be as capable to effectively do whatever task they are required to do because they will be more focused upon their gender and getting equal treatment,” she said.

The irony in Alexis’s statement is that by allowing this ban to occur, people that are transgender will actually be focusing more on getting equal treatment.

Another student, Scott Nickells, a sophomore chemical engineering major, stated that the ban will “deter some UMBC students from joining the military.” This effect on UMBC’s student population could result in students believing that they are unfit for other things that are similar to the military, such as our very own ROTC program.

Nickells is not the only student concerned with how the ban will affect student life here on campus. Jennifer Boateng, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, stated that she does “not support the ban because this country stands for unity and inclusion. Our school prides itself on diversity, and all students should feel welcome here.” Since UMBC does have a large focus on acceptance, everyone should feel welcome here, regardless of any bans that may or may not be in place.

Overall, a majority of students believe that the ban on transgender people joining the military should not be implemented as it would affect both students on our campus, as well as personnel that already serve in our military. In all, a person’s gender identity should not matter. Serving in the military should be a right and a choice for everyone.